Monday, October 15, 2007

No more pixxxxxx...

I lost my camera on my trip to sydney, therefore, there won't be any pix till i get a new camera :(

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Roast Lamb and Pinot Noir!

What can go wrong with roast lamb and pinot noir? NOTHING!

I would say pinot noir is my favourite style of red wine. But I do like a nice spicy bottle of Shiraz though. But pinot noir is very drinkable on its own. That's probably why I like riesling too, because its highly drinkable by its own.

The wine for today's tasting and also used to marinate the roast lamb which I will talk about later is from Mornington Peninsula, Stonier, famous for its Chardonnay's and Pinot Noir's.

Stonier, Mornington Peninsula, Pinot Noir 2005

Tasting notes,
Medium-bodied with the taste of berries and a nice oaky finish.

Personal rating: 4/5

Now for the roasted lamb.

Rack of lamb or lamb cutlets
Ground black pepper
Rosemary, dried or fresh
Parsley, dried or fresh
Mint sauce
Glass of red wine
Olive oil

1) Marinate the lamb for at least 2hours, I did it for 6hours. Haha. The longer you marinate, the more wine it soaks in to the meat, the nicer the taste. :) Anyway, marinate it with salt, black pepper, rosemary, parsley and pour in the wine. Do not add too much rosemary and its rather pungent. Make sure you rub the salt in the meat. And use a spoon to pour the wine over the meat.

2) Wrap the tray with some glad wrap so that the moisture stays lock in.

3) After marinating till your satisfied, get a frying pan and pour some olive oil in. On high heat, fry the lambs to brown it. Do not fry till the meat its cooked, or else this is going to be Pan-fried lamb instead of roasted lamb. Once its brown, put it back in the tray. But before that, pour away part of the marinate. Keeping too much marinate will make the meat overly juicy. You want something just nice when you bite into the meat.

4) Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Once the oven is ready, put in the lamb and roast for about 25-30mins, depending on portion. 25-30mins will give you medium done.

5) When its cooked, let it sit for awhile and then cut and serve with mint sauce.

Enjoy your lamb with the remaining wine, =]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

seafood lasagne

something different to the traditional beef lasagne.. one of lester's favourites..

we finished it before i could take a photo of the inside! hahahaa..

- butter
- plain flour
- fresh milk
- olive oil
- brown onion, finely chopped
- cans of diced italian tomatoes with basil & garlic (if you cannot find it in stores, chopped fresh tomatoes with some shredded fresh basil leaves works as well)
- chopped garlic
- lemon, juiced and rind finely grated (i didn't use this in my recipe.. the lemon juice is mainly to rid the fishy smells if ur seafood is not very fresh or some people juz don't like the fishy smell)
- seafood mix (i used fish fillet slices, prawns, scallops and squid, but you can use marinara mix too)
- instant lasagne sheets
- mozzarella cheese

1. preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. grease ceramic lasagne dish.
2. melt butter, add flour and stir till mixture is bubbly.
3. remove from heat, and add milk. whisk/stir till smooth and return to heat. let mixture boil while constantly stirring. once it boils, reduce heat and simmer abt 2 minutes.. you are looking for a thickened creamy sauce (aka. bechamel sauce). remove from heat, cover surface of the sauce with plastic wrap.
4. in another pot, heat oil and fry onion. when softened slightly, add the garlic. once fragrant, add the diced tomatoes and lemon rind & juice (if ur using lemon). simmer for about 2 minutes, then add the seafood.. give it a stir, and remove from heat..
5. spread a thin layer of tomato mixture (i prefer to try puttin only the tomato sauce and refrain from putting seafood there) over the base of dish, cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, top with half of seafood mixture and drizzle a thin layer of white sauce over that. cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, top with remaining seafood mixture and drizzle another layer of white sauce (do not finish the white sauce as we need it for the final layer). cover with final layer of lasagne sheets, spread remaining white sauce over the top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake 40-45 minutes till cheese is melted and golden brown. Stand 10 minutes before cutting.

* for a variation, spaghetti marinara can be made using the same tomato base sauce featured above. just add some red chopped chilli after the garlic and before the chopped tomatoes.. sprinkle some oregano if desired.. and ensure seafood is cooked through.. once done, toss thru spaghetti and serve...

i love seafood.. hee...

seafood risotto w/ sauteed spinach

i know kelvin has already shared a recipe on risotto marinara.. but, i've got a different seafood risotto here.. hehe.. it's more delicate and not as rich in tomatoes.. have a try and see which you prefer..

- olive oil
- seafood mix ( i used mussels, prawns, fish fillet slices and scallops. but use whatever you like)
- onion, chopped
- tomatoes, peeled and chopped (i only used 1-2)
- capsicum, seeded and diced
- chopped fresh herbs (i.e., rosemary, oregano, thyme & tarragon - use as you like.. i only put oregano and it's the dried kind)
- bayleaf
- arborio rice
- white wine
- fish/chicken stock, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper (ensure stock is simmering on a stock ready to added)
- grated parmesan cheese

1. heat oil and soften onion, garlic and capsicum
2. add white wine and reduce by half (by which, we mean let it boil and evaporate half the wine)
3. add tomatoes, bayleaf and herbs.. cook for 5 minutes, or until tomato juice dissipates..
4. stir in the rice, place seafood mix on top of the rice and spoon stock over till stock covers the seafood just nice..
5. let it boil. once stock is boiling, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.. carefully fold over with a wooden spoon and add more stock if necessary.. it's ready when rice is fluffy and moist and liquid's been absorbed..
6. stir in grated parmesan cheese.. spoon onto plates and serve!

i served sauteed spinach atop the risotto, so we can be a bit more healthy.. hehe.. it's all very simple.. basically, baby spinach leaves.. heat some olive oil, fry some chopped garlic till fragrant (not burnt!) and stir in the spinach leaves.. careful not to overcook as it cooks very fast.. serve atop the risotto or separate.. however you want it.. =)

sprinkle black pepper all over and voila!!

braised beef brisket noodle soup

something i've missed from home is the cantonese style braised beef brisket served with noodles and soup.. so i've tried to recreate it.. the soup is especially yummy because the gravy from the braised beef is poured into the soup.. heavenly..

Ingredients (this time i'm gonna give a rough estimate of the measurements which is good for 3 serves, but adjust to ur preference.. i didn't follow it.. lol):
- 1.5 lbs beef brisket, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1.5 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp shao xing wine
- 0.5 tbsp garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 star anise
- 0.5 tsp peppercorns
- 0.5 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 carrot, cut into desired size (i.e., thumb or slightly bigger - too small and it'll disintegrate completely easily)
- garnish: chopped spring onions and red cut chilli

1. Put 1 thsp of oil into pot, heat it and brown beef. Remove from pot and set aside.
2. Add all the other ingredients (except for the carrots), stir and boil.
3. When mixture is boiling, return beef. Reduce heat, simmer covered for 1.5 hours.
4. Add carrots, and simmer another 30 minutes till carrots are softened.
5. Serve with noodles and pour gravy into soup. Gravy to be added to soup to desired taste.
6. Garnish with chopped spring onions and fried onions (bawang goreng).
7. Serve with separate saucer of cut red chilli in soy sauce.. Alternatively, the chinese chilli oil mixture is fantastic with this.

The noodles I used are instant egg noodles, so pretty much just boil them and use them. You can use any other noodle you like, but the traditional cantonese noodles used were egg noodles. The soup base was just stock, I used chicken stock for it. Don't make the chicken stock too rich as the flavour should come from the beef gravy.

Some things I did differently from the above recipe is to add beef stock; i didn't have star anise so i omitted it and replaced the hoisin sauce with oyster sauce.

Bawang Goreng, or fried shallots is simply red shallots (the small red onions) thinly sliced and fried to a golden crisp. Fantastic as a garnish for almost any asian dish! You'll find it on mee goreng, nasi goreng etc.. you can do it yourself.. if you do it yourself, ensure you do not char the onions, we want it golden brown not burnt. and keep the oil! it's gorgeous, can be used interchangeably with sesame oil.. my mum does it herself and uses the oil to flavour congee, steamed eggs, veges and even fish.. alternatively, most asian grocery stores stock bawang goreng ready-made..

bon appetit!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Risotto Marinara!

If there is one type of sauce I love for pasta, that would be the Marinara sauce. Especially when its paired with fresh seafood like clams, mussels, squid and prawns. DELICIOUS! Or better yet, LOBSTER! :D

So anyway, this was made using the basic risotto recipe which can be found on the blog and just adding the Marinara sauce.

My recipe for the Marinara sauce for this dish is,

Ingredients (serves 2)
Can of diced italian tomatoes
Basil leafs, fresh preferred.
Bay leaf
Garlic, chopped
Portobello mushrooms, sliced
Onions, chopped
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Vegetable stock
Chilli, sliced (optional)

1) Sauté the garlic and onions on low heat till soft not brown. Add mushrooms, chilli and bay leaf(1-2 will do) when its becoming soft.

2) Put in the can diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil on low heat. Now add in a cup of stock. Stir and mix, at this time, add in the basil and oregano and a dash of black pepper. Make sure you use more basil then oregano. Don't overwhelm the sauce with the herbs too, or else you will not enjoy the sweetness of the tomato sauce.

3) Simmer and stir occasionally for about an hour. Once the sauce thickens it is ready. At this point, add abit of sugar and salt to taste. And your sauce is now ready.

If you plan to make seafood marinara pasta, you should put in your seafood when the sauce is near completion and just pour the sauce over the cooked pasta.

For the risotto I made, what I did was after cooking the risotto, I added the sauce and seafood and mixed it together with my risotto and added parmesan cheese to my liking.

Making your own sauce is time consuming, but the end result is a wonderful homemade sauce unlike the can ones you can buy. This took me about almost 2hours to make, but it was well worth it when you get a delicious end result!! :)

Friday, August 3, 2007


Tonight's menu is simple american food. Scotch fillet with mashed potatoes and gravy. It's no wonder the obesity rate in America is so high. ^^

I always loved mashed potatoes, especially the one from Kenny Roger's. Miss that.

Unfortunately, I didn't have any red wine with the steak today. :( But, nevertheless, I still enjoyed my food!

Easy to cook, but preparation is key. So here's what to do. Prepare the steak for at least 2hrs beforehand.

Simple marinate
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Black pepper

Put together and rub into the meat and leave it to stand. You can gladwrap the container, which I normally do.

Cooking is straight forward, oil the pan with some olive oil, not extra virgin olive oil. And pan fry your steak to your satisfaction.

Now, for the gravy.

Black Pepper
Beef bouillon
Onions (optional)

After removing your steak from the pan, whats left behind is the yummy oil and juices. Now you know why its so fattening. Heat the pan, in my case, I used some onions. Sauté the onions and then add some water into the pan. Add flour bit by bit and stirring continously so that it dosen't stick together. Then add some beef bouillon, salt and pepper. Stir awhile longer. And its ready.

Finally, the fluffy yummy mashed potatoes.

Potatoes, washed peeled and cut into cubes
Black Pepper

1) Put the potatoes into a pot and add water. Bring to boil and cook till tender.

2) When cooked, drain and put into a bowl. Warm milk at this point.

3) Add butter, salt and abit of pepper and mash the potatoes.

4) Add milk slowly till you get the nice fluffly texture u want while mashing the potatoes. When your satisfied its done.

Enjoy and make sure you do some exercise the next day ;P